GROUPON GETS PHYSICAL TO DRIVE VIRTUAL

TitleGROUPON GETS PHYSICAL TO DRIVE VIRTUAL
ClientGROUPON HONG KONG
Product / ServiceGROUPON
CategoryA03. Best Use of Live Events and/or Celebrity Endorsement
EntrantFLEISHMAN-HILLARD HONG KONG, HONG KONG
PR Agency FLEISHMAN-HILLARD HONG KONG, HONG KONG
Entrant Company FLEISHMAN-HILLARD HONG KONG, HONG KONG

The Campaign

Groupon is a virtual company that offers an infrastructure for merchants to offer group-buying deals to consumers. After losing its Hong Kong market leadership position, Groupon realized that while online shopping is big, many Hong Kong shoppers prefer a physical touch, so it had to bridge the gap between the online, virtual world into the offline, physical world. Looking to reignite its brand, and retake the market leader position, Groupon launched a campaign to drive sales and increase engagement with its merchants. The campaign focused on bridging the gap between the physical and virtual. Physical flash mobs in shopping destinations across Hong Kong danced to K-pop sensation ‘Gangnam Style’ with a twist. The ‘Groupon style’ flash-mob went viral to raise awareness about the Groupon Concept Store opening in Causeway Bay. Riding on the viral flash-mob campaign customers were engaged with Facebook games and quizzes. On-site demonstrations reintroduced the Groupon shopping model whilst customers could experience first-hand ordering online, and then redeeming Groupon discounts from merchants in-store. An astounding top-tier media response resulted in an estimated HK$3million- advertising equivalency and 150,000+ impressions across social media platforms. Over the course of the campaign, Groupon retook the market leader top-spot, increasing both physical and virtual traffic and overall revenue.

The Brief

The goal of Groupon’s 4,000 square foot store was to position Groupon at the cutting edge of customer engagement. For consumers the store would offer the excellent customer service Groupon customers can find online in a tangible physical space. For merchants, the store would offer additional exposure and illustrate Groupon’s forward-thinking approach. The Groupon concept store launch campaign aimed to: •Drive sales and a preference for Groupon amongst target consumers – aged 20-40, a crucial demographic with increasing disposable income •Increase engagement with merchants towards more, bigger and better deals being offered •Regain overall market-share to become the group-buying leader

Results

The campaign was extremely well-received in Hong Kong, with an increase in media exposure, sales, and crucially, market share. Putting Groupon back at the top •Online market research company Hitwise showed Groupon’s market share rise from 45% before the campaign to 51% in December after the campaign •Average revenue rose 678% with increased deals from existing and prospective merchants comparing Q4 2012 to Q4 2011. •Online traffic rose by 30% from October-December 2012 •More than 1,000/day customers visited the store during December 2012. •Sustained in-depth coverage in top-tier local media in Hong Kong, 100% message pull-through and an advertising equivalency of HK$3million. •30 journalists attended the store opening from business, tech, consumer and trade media •Media interviews further articulated Groupon’s business plan and customer commitment •Flash mob videos attracted more than 50,000 views and were discussed in two major forums – discuss.com and uWants. Facebook impressions surpassed 100,000

Execution

Getting physical to raise awareness: More than 30 flash-mob participants were recruited from Groupon’s target demographic. Starting two weeks before the concept store opening, four flash-mobs took place in four prime shopping locations, dancing to K-pop viral sensation ‘Gangnam Style’ – with a twist. ‘Groupon-style’ flash-mob videos were uploaded to Facebook and YouTube immediately for fresh social media content. Driving virtual from inside the store: The final dance-mob was performed on November 16 to mark the official opening of the store, attended by more than 20 merchants and 30 journalists. In-store engagement was driven by: •On-site demonstration of coupon redemption system and interviews with store ambassadors to articulate the Groupon model. •iPads to purchase deals online – introducing and reinforcing the Groupon experience. Deals could then be redeemed at convenient merchant booths within the concept store itself. •Quizzes in store and Facebook games online helped to drive deeper customer interaction.

The Situation

Following the acquisition of local deal-of-the-day operation ubuyibuy.com in late 2010, Groupon expanded online group buying in Hong Kong and quickly became market leader. However, Groupon’s business reached a plateau a year later and eventually lost its market leader position to Yahoo! Research showed that whilst shopping online is big, Hong Kong shoppers still prefer the experience of spending their hard-earned cash in-store. To respond to this, Groupon opened a physical retail store in late 2012. The challenge was how could Groupon use the physical presence to engage its target demographics, and gain back its virtual market share?

The Strategy

The strategy was to engage both physical and virtual tactics to increase overall mind-share for Groupon amongst target consumers and merchants. Strategies were employed to drive traffic to both Groupon’s physical and virtual assets, with physical elements driving virtual traffic and virtual social media sharing encouraging concept store visits. - Restate purpose: articulate Groupon’s group-buying concept as a marketing platform for merchants and a go-to shopping destination for deals for consumers - Gain mindshare: engage merchants and consumers through media events, interviews and advertising - Drive physical traffic: implement a series of curtain-raising flash-mobs leading the way through major Hong Kong shopping districts to the concept store in Causeway Bay - Drive virtual traffic: drive brand awareness and virtual traffic through social media engagement, online advertising, online games and quizzes

Credits

Name Company Position
Shirley Lam Fleishmanhillard Account Manager
Patrick Yu Fleishmanhillard Svp
Carmen Yu Fleishmanhillard Account Director